2020 was one of the worst years in history for homicides in Philadelphia, but the murder rate so far this year is even higher. As of last week, homicides were up 55% compared to same time period in 2020, and city officials seem unable or unwilling to effectively address the surge in violence.
In addition to an increase in murders, other crimes are rising as well. There were 59 carjackings in Philadelphia last month, compared to 18 in January of last year, but criminals may be having some second thoughts about targeting strangers for their vehicles after an attempted carjacking on Tuesday evening ended with one of the suspects shot in the head by his intended victim.
Police say the two suspects are also suspects in another carjacking that took place around 6:00 p.m. Tuesday night. In that case, they were able to get away with the victim’s car, wallet, and cellphone.
Later that night, around 8:50, two men stopped a gray Chevy Cruz in front of a man walking near 18th and Vine streets and hopped out of the car, police said. The driver then pulled out a gun and pointed it at the 21-year-old victim as the second man began to frisk him.
The gunman then brought the gun closer to the victim’s body as the other man pulled out his wallet and cellphone, investigators said.
Fearing for his life, the victim — who has a license to carry — pulled out his 9mm handgun and fired two shots, police said. He then fired a third shot after being knocked down before running off.
As he was running off he looked back and saw the gunman on the ground and the second man trying to help him into the car, police said. The victim then alerted a security guard who called police.
When police arrived, they were met by a 17-year-old who said his brother had been shot during a robbery. The security guard, however, told officers that the actual robbery victim was up the street and that the teenager was one of the would-be robbers.
Police cuffed the teen and the victim identified him as one of his attackers, police said.
A short time later officers spotted the Chevy Cruze that had been stolen in the first carjacking attempt. Behind the wheel was a man with a gunshot wound to the head, who also had the first carjacking victim’s wallet tucked in one of his pockets.
The wounded man was taken to a local hospital, where at last report he was in critical condition. As for the armed citizen, it’s pretty clear that he was acting in self-defense, and he’s not expected to face any charges in connection with the incident.
The anti-gun politicians in Philadelphia may not be happy about the fact that someone used their legally-owned and lawfully-carried firearm to defend their life, but it beats the alternative; a dead victim and another violent criminal getting away with murder.
If Philly’s politicians can’t get a handle on the violent crime in their city, they shouldn’t be surprised or shocked when more residents choose to arm themselves for protection. Not only is it their constitutional right to do so, but there’s clearly a growing demand on the part of residents who want to be able to protect themselves.
Sadly, if a Philadelphia resident were to try to apply today for a concealed carry license, they’d likely be told they can drop off their application sometime in 2022. That’s not a typo. It’s taking the city well over a year to process a concealed carry application, which has led to lawsuits against the city and the police department’s Gun Permit Unit. With violent crime soaring, it’s more imperative than ever that residents be able to exercise their right to keep and bear arms, but the city’s doing it’s best to keep the law-abiding disarmed, even while criminals are targeting the innocent with increasing impunity.